Tommy Baldwin Racing's New Found Momentum
What originally started out as a one race deal for the Daytona 500, Golden Corral has become the primary sponsor on the 36 for most races this season.
Photo by "likeaduck" /

By Dominic Aragon Reporter


A bad streak snapped for Dave Blaney and a team best finish occurred last Sunday at Talladega.

Dave Blaney, 49, scored his fourth career top-5 with a third place run at Talladega. Tommy Baldwin Racing was able to come away with its first Cup top-10 run ever since they debuted at the Daytona 500 in 2009.

“We’ve been upbeat,” said Tommy Baldwin over the phone from Martinsville. “We’re definitely moving in the right direction.”

In its two previous seasons, Tommy Baldwin Racing had a best of 13th at Daytona in 2010, and used 13 drivers in 52 races. This year, with the consistency of Dave Blaney running most of the races, the team’s performance has improved.

“Our performance has been pretty good on the superspeedways, not bad on the short tracks, but our mile-and-a-half tracks have not been good at all,” said Dave Blaney. “We need to improve on that, but we are getting better equipment, better parts and pieces, and what’s enabled us to do that is [Tommy Baldwin has] been able to gather up sponsorship at a time when it is not easy.”

As part of the top-10 run, Golden Corral gave the chance to feed the children of America last Monday for free with the purchase of an adult buffet.

“It’s cool to finally make that promotion happen,” said Blaney. “I haven’t heard any numbers yet on how many kids came in and took advantage of that throughout the country, but I’ll be anxious to hear how it went.”

Throughout 2009 and 2010, Dave Blaney spent most races starting and parking to stay at the track on a weekly basis. In a season that started off without a secure place inside the top-35 in owner’s points, Dave Blaney scored Tommy Baldwin Racing a 13th place run at Richmond in April, which was enough to propel the 36 car into the top-35.

What might be surprising to most fans is that the car used for the No. 36 team at Talladega was a car that has been used since 2007, dating back to the days when Tommy Baldwin was the crew chief for Dave Blaney at Bill Davis Racing.

“It’s had a couple different bodies on since [2007],” said Baldwin. The car has been rebuilt [a few times].”

As the NASCAR season nears its end, it is time for silly season to start picking up. Although the team’s second car, the No. 35, has raced a limited basis, TBR says the possibility to see the No. 35 full time next year is certainly a possibility.

“We are laying the foundation for a second car,” said Baldwin. “Next year our goals are to pick up our performance on the tracks we need to pick up on. Last year’s pressure was to get into the top-35 in points; next year’s pressure is to perform and race better.”